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Retrostar Vintage Clothing

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by Samsara (subscribe)
I am a director, playwright, and theatre critic with a Masters in Writing for Performance. You can check out my my portfolio and musings at
Published February 27th 2011

Walking into Retrostar, you will be confronted by walls of colourful clothing from bygone decades. While clutter abounds, it is not hard to find what you are looking for as all the clothing has been lovingly sorted by style and by era. You may find a rack of luxurious fur coats, an assortment of cute 40s dresses, or a collection of snazzy plaid shirts; but you certainly won't find them all mixed together.

Despite being predominantly second-hand stock, the clothing available is seasonal. Racks of adorable floral dresses are brought out during the warmer months, while jackets and jumpers are more the domain of winter. New stock arrives on a weekly basis, so there will be surprises each time you visit.

A huge range of predominantly black band t-shirts can be found in Rockstar, the second room of Retrostar, ordered by size and by letter. Unlike most of the clothing available, the band t-shirts are new.

Plenty of vintage and new accessories are available for purchase, from shoes to earrings to neckties. Of particular interest are the bags, which tend to be inspired by pop-art. They are often in the shape of other objects - I even got a shoe-shaped bag a few years ago.

While the clothing at Retrostar is interesting to browse, the vintage knick-knacks scattered around the store are even more fascinating to peruse. Books on the fashions of bygone days, figurines and antique furniture are all on display. Every last corner of the store is filled- even the walls of the change-rooms are plastered in retro postcards.

If you are intending to shop at Retrostar, make sure you bring an ample amount of money. Despite the clothing being primarily second-hand, it is no op-shop and you can expect to pay not much less than the items would have cost new.

Retrostar is located on the first of eleven floors in the historic Nicholas Building on Swanston Street. With plenty of niche shops and obscure studios tucked away, it is definitely worth exploring.
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Why? Because vintage is so hot right now
When: 10am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 11am-5pm Sunday
Where: Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Cost: Depends on how much you spend
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